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Peace Education

UPF Celebrates America’s Asian Pacific Heritage

United States-2016-05-05-UPF Celebrates America’s Asian Pacific Heritage

Elkton, United States—UPF Washington, D.C., supported the celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in Cecil County in the state of Maryland on Thursday, May 5, 2016.

On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed House Joint Resolution 1007, which proclaimed the week of May 4 to 11, 1979, as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week. After more than 10 years of further advocacy, President George W. Bush on October 23, 1992, signed the law that designated “May of each year as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.”

The month of May was chosen to celebrate Americans of Asian and Pacific Island descent in order to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

The Asian Pacific region encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

The Cecil County celebration program was organized by UPF Ambassador for Peace Mie Mie Joe Strickler, a commissioner appointed by the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives (GOCI). More than 100 Asian residents of Cecil County and neighboring areas gathered at the Cecil County Administration Building for the celebration.

The guest speakers were: Mrs. Yumi Hogan, Maryland’s first lady; Mr. Jon C. Wobensmith, Maryland secretary of state; Wayne Norman, Maryland state senator representing District 35, Cecil and Hartford Counties; and  Christina W. Poy, administrative director, Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (GOCI).

UPF Washington, D.C., put up a display table and offered Japanese sweets to guests.

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